Mindfulness in cultural and wildlife tourism in Southern Africa
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The objectives of this article were to explore the mindfulness of tourists visiting cultural and wildlife attractions and to establish the role of on-site interpretation in stimulating mindfulness. This was a qualitative study that used grounded theory methodology and reflexivity as an interpretive and critical mode of enquiry. The study was informed by focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews with group members, participant observations and a detailed daily journal recording of the critical instances of 100 tourists visiting cultural and wildlife tourism attractions in two southern African countries over a three-year period. Well-developed on-site interpretation resulted in tourist's mindfulness in both wildlife and cultural settings visited within South Africa. However, on-site interpretation was lacking for Lesotho, resulting in mindlessness among the tourists. A change of mindset is required for on-site interpretation in Lesotho. Qualified and trained tour guides should be at the forefront of interpretation of cultural encounters in Lesotho, to enable cultural tourism to become a meaningful economic driver.
- Faculty of Humanities